City defends sewage plan

2013-12-17 00:00

DESPITE public criticism on a decision to pump raw sewage into the uMhlathuzana River, south of Durban, the eThekwini Municipality maintains that it is necessary to avoid unplanned spillage in the future.

Last month, the council’s plan was temporarily stopped after a huge outcry from environmental activists and residents.

City engineers and the head of water and sanitation tried hard to explain reasons to divert between 1 200 and 1 520 cubic metres to the river.

The city’s senior mechanical engineer Andrew Peincke said they have no option but to maintain the ageing pump station.

“At this stage we have no specific date but its a planned process that should take at least three hours on selected weekends when flows are at their trended minimum.”

Peincke said all sewage pump stations are on a quarterly service schedule and there was no need for people to panic.

But South Durban Community Environmental Alliance leader Desmond D’Sa said this action would have a seriously impact on marine life. He said their concern was that the city opted to pump sewage into the river instead of using a honeysucker.

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